MAC is presenting to the world the MAC Vibe Tribe Summer Collection, a line shrouded in fallacies. To say that the line isn’t inspired by Native American Culture is a whole entire lie and we all know it. MAC has been very bold by making a statement that is denying that a people and their culture even exists. They are taking personal credit and making a profit off of a concept that represents a culture of people. They are playing into this ideology that indigenous people do not exist, which we all know is untrue.
MAC actually had the audacity to claim that this line isn’t inspired by Native American Culture, that it “is inspired by art, outdoor music festivals, and the colors of the desert.” Hmmm… That’s so interesting… So what you are trying to say is that the art is no way inspired by Southwestern Art which is based on Native American art and culture? And by outdoor music festivals, you don’t acknowledge the fetishizing and the cultural appropriation of gatherers that use indigenous fashion and art as a means to look “fashionable” and ignorant of the disrespect that they are showing off, often using mock feather headdresses, dreamcatcher designs, and faux suede fringe? And you tacked on added on the desert in hopes of covering your tracks?
How ridiculously stupid do you think we are? My personal stance is this: I know cultural appropriation when I see it, don’t insult my intelligence. The fact that you thought you could just shows me how far you are willing to go in your quest of profit over people. You, MAC, are no longer welcome in my beauty stash, you are no longer wanted in tutorials or reviews, you are no longer welcome to my money.
Of course people from the opposition keep these two messages going strong “This is a way of paying homage to a culture” and “it’s not a big deal, why are people making a big fuss, they should be grateful that people want to celebrate native culture”. …Oh but in fact these people are doing the direct opposite of both of those things. These people aren’t celebrating another’s culture they are making a mockery of it. They are using someone’s identity as a plaything, something that is for fun, by stripping away actual cultural implications. I find often as a person of color that I am constantly second guessing my feelings. Maybe I’m being overly sensitive…OR maybe YOU people are being insensitive by fetishizing and appropriating other’s cultural values and traditions then following up by making piss poor excuses by proposing you are paying homage or respect.
If you are a part of a culture that has been raped culturally and raped as a people, then I would hope that you get it. There is no melting pot of actual equity because if there was everyone would be benefitting from these plots of profit over people. If people actually gave the monetary and creative recognition where it was due how quickly that power would shift, how different the world would be, the have nots would be at the platitude of the haves.
Bottom line it's not okay to compliment someone’s culture by stripping it’s meaning or cultural symbolism so that one can sell it to other people as something in “new white” packaging to now be acceptable when it wasn’t until it became “white property” to be exploited. You can keep your compliments and your tributes to yourself then start dishing out respect and checks. Please and thank you!